Sling TV still doesn’t have ESPN and Disney in its multi-stream lineup. The service responded to users’ demands for multi-stream support recently, and Dish Network tried explaining at an earning call why two of the most popular TV channels are still missing from their streaming service.
One of the major points in favor of a TV service is the option to pause and rewind live channels, which lets you go back and watch programming from the past few days without recording any of it. The single stream plan has only half of the channels supporting the time shifting and “Lookback” option, and it turns out Disney-owned channels don’t figure on that list.
Sling TV presently offers a separate $20/month plan, where it lets consumers view TV programming on up to three devices at any time. This plan also adds a few channels to the mix, such as Fox, FX, and Fox Sports. Still, the exclusion of ESPN and Disney channels has earned serious frustration from subscribers.
CEO Charlie Ergen said it was unfortunate about the lack of consistency, and even went so far as to say he would do thing differently given another chance. “With multi-stream, everybody that is in multi-stream, we just made the strategic decision that we have to get a consistent product to our consumers,” he stated. He also added that Disney is appraising these standards to make sure they are good with singing up on those terms.
Bringing ESPN and Disney into the multi-stream bundle is also costly for Sling, and Egren hinted that if this went through, monthly pricing would go over $20. “But we’re desirous of putting ESPN in multi-stream which will drive the price of multi-stream up,” he said.
Barring National Geographic, no Fox-owned channels inside the multi-stream package comes with time-shifting support, but Sling TV, according to a representative, will be putting out this feature to other channels as well. Also, they may be adding more channels to the lineup.
Dish and Viacom recently signed a deal last week which will brings Viacom channels over from the Dish Network channel list, and into Sling TV. This includes Comedy Central, Spike, MTV, and Nick Jr. That along with the Fox-owned channels should be plenty to step up the service to the same levels of offering as rival PlayStation Vue.